There are two major updates at the end of this article. This story seems to be developing as I’m writing it.
On Friday I brought you the news that the favored choice to take over for Brett Ratner on Conan was James McTeigue. Well, that’s true… from a certain point of view.
As is often the case in Hollywood, these things are less simple than they seem on the surface. Sources tell me that while producers Nu-Image/Millenium favor McTeigue, forces at Lionsgate, the film’s distributor-to-be, have some different ideas. According to these sources, Lionsgate is much more interested in two names in particular: Christophe Gans and Neil Marshall.
Gans, who directed Brotherhood of the Wolf, is a guy who seems either very slow or very picky about his projects. In the 21st century he’s made Brotherhood and Silent Hill, and that’s about it. While I adore Brotherhood of the Wolf, I don’t have as much use for Silent Hill; I’d like to see what Gans could do with a barbarian tale.
Marshall on the other hand… yes, please. His last film, Doomsday, was a fucking delight, and his latest movie, Centurion, is a period piece that looks good so far. Marshall seems like the guy who would give we, the geeks, the Conan we really, really want to see – bloody, over the top and a blast.
The fact that Lionsgate wants either of these guys tells me that the supposed August start date for Conan is quite theoretical, especially as Marshall will likely still be in post-production on Centurion for the next few months.
So who will it be: McTeigue, Gans or Marshall? Or none of the above? I feel like if Nu-Image/Millenium and Lionsgate don’t figure this out, Conan could stay stranded in development hell.
UPDATE: An interesting email from a knowledgeable source just came into my inbox, informing me that this is all wrong. More on all of this as it comes.
UPDATE #2: My original source had given me a number of directors the producers were looking at, but I focused on who I was assured were the top two choices. But now other sources are telling me a name I had heard, but had dismissed, is being aggressively pursued:
So what the hell is going on here? This article is the result of three really trusted sources and one debunker in the know. Each of them are telling me different things. Who is right? At this point I feel like I’m edging on a story that’s just a list of available directors (ugh, a List Story), but if my Nispel source is right, and if Nispel takes the deal, we should know as soon as this week.